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joshuaslater

Our vision of the future.

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hmmm Guided munitions, already many of these cannot take out a modern MBT due to the increases in armour technology - look into chobham armour. Also consider the pinpoint defences used on naval ships, now apply to the future. Missiles are very sensative things fire a few hundred chain gun rounds down range at one and see what happens.

 

Why I am not so sure about battle armour. Speed, they are still going to be fairly slow moving. Munitions load, can they carry enough to not need constant resupply ? Numbers of troops needed, most modern militaries are trying to reduce the number of soldiers on the battlefield, look at the new tank the USA is developing with a two man crew. Finally assuming man portable ATGW can't destroy a modern battle tank (see first paragraph), how will these infantry kill any tanks they find ? I don't see any body armour around that is going to slow down a 105 mm cannon round or even a 30 mm round.

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Re: Resupply. A modern US infantryman carries 210rnds of 5.56mm ammo (6 magazines, plus a 7th in the M16) and 4. This is not counting the 200rnd belt carried for the support weapons, loose 5.56 carried in the ruck, and whatever accessories you can pile on him. When I was in the army, for fun and training I "speed shot" through 3 magazines within a minute or two. In heavy combat, the basic loadout is NEVER going to be enough to keep troops in the field. Constant resupply is ABSOLUTELY neccessary, so I think that point is invalid...

 

One of the advantages of battle armor is that you are not neccessarily limited by the motive power of the trooper. Having an enhanced musculature means (amongst other things) the soldier can be faster.

 

There are all kinds of ways to use guided munitions. An M1A2 isn't going to provide a whole lot of defence if it gets hit by (FREX) a Maverick missile. Even if the armor isn't cracked, the impact of a 125 to 300lbs warhead will do all sorts of bad things to the vehicle and crew. Even if the armor isn't penetrated, the tank will probably be a "mission kill" at a minimum when its optics, tracks, OVE, etc are destroyed. Futher, the best way to spoof automated defenses like the Phalanx and other similar systems (you didn't mention the ability of guided missiles shooting down other guided missiles) is thorugh "saturation" attacks...throw so much at the target its defences are overwhelmed.

 

Also, as I mentioned above, sometimes achieving a "mission kill" (i.e. not destroying the vehicle but rendering it inoperable through damage) is just as good as blowing it up. An M1A2 isn't going to be the "Knight of Battle" if the tracks are broken or you blow off a few road wheels...

 

Not to drag any modern politics, but current and past counterinsurgency conflicts, FREX, show the need for boots on the ground, and that troops buttoned up in armored vehicles becomes targets for the enemy in a variety of ways...

 

Finally, I'm not so sure about your last comment about body armor stopping 30 or 105mm rounds. Nothing in history has protected infantry against this, yet infantry is still a valued asset on the battlefield...

 

Damon.

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yet infantry is still a valued asset on the battlefield...
Because with the right equipment and tactics they can take on any target, including tanks, and it's nigh on impossible (without using really nasty weapons that usually result in sanctions) to completely destroy a unit, especially in terrain that favors the infantry.

 

Regarding ATGMs, look up the Javelin, it attacks the weakest part of the tank, the top deck, not side-on where the armor is thickest.

 

Lars is entirely correct, a mission killed tank (or anything else) is just as useless to a commander as a completely destoyed vehicle.

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Oh I think there will alwaya be a need for troops on the ground.

 

I am just trying to put forward some alternate ideas as to why just possibly we might one day see something similar to a CAV on a battlefield. As already stated I don't think it will ever happen while Mankind lives just on this one little planet.

 

My point about casualties was a reference to how combat losses seem to be viewed in America now and then projecting that view forward by a few thousand years.

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The one environment I can see where legs and a high profile would work OK is in seriously built-up urban areas. Think Trantor in Foundation and Empire (the direct inspiration for WH40K's "Hive Worlds").

 

But even then, making each infanteer into the equivalent of a 20th century APC but with wicked-sick electronic warfare and networking would probably work better.

 

Legions of Steel went into an interesting but brief discourse of how, where and why powered infantry of about Space Marine level would be deployed.

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I'm not sure we'd ever see anything like a CAV (as the models exist now) in the world, simply because the design is impractical for real world applications. There hoever, that psychologicaly je ne sais quois about the humanoid walker, however that many people find appealing.

 

Does this mean we won't see big walking gun platforms? I'm sure we will. The lads at MIT (I believe) are working with the department of defense and other groups to build a 4-legged robotic mule for carrying equipment in rough terrain already. Another few years and we'll probably see it put in the field.

 

We also currently use robotic units (tracked and wheeled) in combat now, but they tend to be small, and are best suited for sending sensors and guns into places we don't want to risk losing soldiers. I think the trend will be to replace the human element on a battlefield as much as possible. We will always need live grunts, but if you can send a squadron of gun platforms to do what would normally take a squad or platoon of men, and all you risk is equipment loss - it's almost a no-brainer. Send the humans in for mop-up.

 

I think future weapon platforms will look more like the vehicles in the terminator movies (minus the exo-skeletons). I think they'll tend to be wheeled, tracked or multi-legged type platforms, as that is what currently works best.

 

Also look at the technology that is being developed for extra-planatery rovers and extrapolate that. Again, it's wheeled vehicles with an eye towards multi-legged walkers. (Bugs are a great prototype design for futuristic walkers)

 

2 Legs is simply not practical and stable enough. Augmenting existing legs (ie, exo-skeleton legs, power armor etc.. is, however a good idea) There are deep sea diving suits and work suits that are pretty close to power armor now, which are actually bigger than the crewman inside (so the suits arm is much longer than a human arm, but is operated with waldos and force-feedback)

 

I do however, miss the art-deco future. :)

 

I also like the blending of past and future ideas that are often seen visually in movies like Batman (especially the first Tim Burton one, as well as the latest), Metropolis, Blade Runner etc...

 

My dream home is a nice old victorian type home, with a touch of art deco and all the modern convienances. Ie.. gut the house, keep the wordwork and design - replace everything else with new and modern.. ie ne electrics, run networking through the whole place, automate what you can, such as home security, lighting, link all the electronics together...

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If anyone has the old appleseed comics, read shiro's take on future warfare in the back of each one.

 

Shirow considered the "Landmate" the largest that any 'mech' would get, able to still reasonably use cover while being as mobile as a human. Any bigger, and they suffer from multiplying weight issues, while gaining less and less from cover. Beyond that, powered armor ( muscle suits like the Gaisim K5 ), 'pocket' tanks that can use urban cover, would also be used. Also, the age old rivalry between helicopters and 'tanks' would continue.

 

Weee! All on one page:

 

http://www.geocities.com/tokyo/towers/1073/mecha.htm

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